18 Incredible Pizzas to Eat in Italy

Pizza Book

So many pizzas, so little time. To create his compendium of 1,705 of the world's best pizzerias, Where to Eat Pizza author and culinary connector Daniel Young culled recommendations from more than 1,000 experts in 48 countries — including 179 pizza informants in Italy. Also the writer behind the site Young & Foodish, Young put together this exclusive F&W Italian pizza bucket list to add to your life goals. It's possible to knock out several iconic spots in and around Naples, and his picks will lead you to must-visit stops in popular destinations like Rome, Florence, Milan, and beyond.

01 of 18

Pepe in Grani (Caiazzo, Campania)

Pepe in Grani, Caiazzo (Campania)
© Stefano Wurzburger

Eat: Margherita Sbagliata, aka Mistaken Margherita (mozzarella, cold tomato reduction, and basil).

“This is the best pizza on Earth. No one can touch the skills of Franco Pepe. Every ingredient he uses is from the area. Each pizza tells a story: about the land, the people, the town itself.” — Chris Behr

“Juicy bufala mozzarella from just down the road, gorgeous Vesuvio tomatoes, earthy local chickpeas, sweet onions from nearby Alife, pungent figs — all the flavors of Campania, made completely without machines.” — Jonathan Gold


02 of 18

Pizzarium (Rome)

Pizzarium, Rome

Eat: Pizza con le Patate (potato and mozzarella).

“Gabriele Bonci has been christened the Michelangelo of pizza. In his pizzeria, Roman-style pizza al taglio (pan pizza by the slice) has risen to levels of astonishing quality.“ — Orlando Bortolami

“No one in the world does what Gabriele Bonci does with pizza by the slice. He takes a very soft dough made with Burrato flour from Mulino di Marino, a famed miller in Northern Italy, and bakes it in pans mostly without toppings. So the bread base is perfect. Then he adds toppings according to season and his own taste using fantastic quality salumeria and well thought-out vegetable combinations. I think this was the first place in Rome I saw a chef source ingredients from outside the region because they were better. You never want to leave, even though you're eating on the sidewalk or leaning against a wall. An exceptional experience.” — Evan Kleiman


03 of 18

50 Kalò (Naples)

50 Kalò, Naples
Luciano Furia / www.lucianofuria.com

Eat: Marinara or Pizza del’Alleanza (mozzarella, lardo, onion, Romano cheese)

“Ciro Salvo is in pursuit of the perfect dough. The pizzas are always well balanced and well cooked. It is the pizzeria I recommend to all my friends who come to Naples for the first time.” — Valentina Scotti

"A ‘new’ pizzeria in Naples but with a great pizzaiolo perpetuating family traditions: Ciro Salvo. The pizzeria is extremely centrally located and out of the usual old Naples circuit. The service is good and the pizza is among the best in terms of quality of dough and choice of the ingredients. This pizzeria also mixes the quality of 'traditional' Neapolitan pizzas with bolder and more innovative combinations. The result is always excellent.” — Simone Nicotina


04 of 18

I Tigli (Verona)

I Tigli, Verona
© Daniel Young

Eat: Shrimp Sashimi Pizza.

"Simone Padoan has literally invented the concept of gourmet pizza, a pizza whose dough represents the base onto which he creates a dish.” — Jacopo Cossater

“The pizza bases are perfect: in the rise, the consistency, the digestibility. The toppings are like real dishes chosen and put together on the basis of a constantly new harmonic game of colors, flavors, and textures.” — Alessia Gallian


05 of 18

Pizzaria La Notizia (Naples)

Pizzaria La Notizia, Naples
© Luciano Furia / www.lucianofuria.com

Eat: Margherita DOP.

“Pure, highest quality Neapolitan pizza. One of the best in Naples, home of pizza.” — Ken Forkish

“Enzo Coccia is a master of the leavening process. The choice of the basic ingredients is extraordinary. The so-called ‘innovative’ pizzas with non-classic ingredients and combinations are excellent.” — Simone Nicotina


06 of 18

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (Naples)

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Naples
© Daniel Young

Eat: Margherita.

“Pizza down to the basics, but perfect. Great crust, great sauce, great cheese. No add-ons, no choices. Go. Wait in line. Eat. You will not regret it.” — Joseph Diliberto

“The classic. The well-spring. The pilgrimage site. Not necessarily the best pizza in the world, but definitely the benchmark..” — Robbie Swinnerton

“I love this place. It's the real deal ... tiled walls, marble tables, two items on the menu, maybe three on Fridays. YES, they only do two pizze! Margherita and Marinara.” — Ingrid Langtry


07 of 18

Pizzeria Fratelli Salvo (Naples)

Pizzeria Fratelli Salvo, Naples
Courtesy of Pizzeria Fratellli Salvo

Eat: Cosacca, aka "Cossack’s Pizza” (cherry tomatoes, pecorino Bagnolese cheese, basil)

“One of the best pizzerias in Italy. Pizzas with excellent dough; exceptional care in the choice of the ingredients; and a wine, beer, and champagne list worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant.“ — Leonardo Ciomei

“A fantastic quality in everything, from the raw materials to the service and the wine list, it is one of the best pizzerias in Italy.” — Pierluigi Roscioli


08 of 18

Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo (Naples)

Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, Naples
© Andrea Wyner

Eat: Margherita.

“A great tradition of real Neapolitan pizza. Brothers Gino and Antonio Sorbillo have decided to carry on age-old customs but with a very modern entrepreneurial verve.” — Martina Caruso

“Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo embodies pizza as it has always been made in Naples, at an unparalleled price given the excellent products it uses." — Davide Ricciardiello


09 of 18

Saporè (Verona)

Saporè, Verona
Courtesy of Saporè

Eat: Mortadella, Misticanza and Pistacchi (stracchino cheese, mozzarella, mortadella, mesclun, and pistachios).

“Renato Bosco has the ability to interpret all styles of pizza with extraordinary technique. This is where you can find the widest range of high-quality doughs in just one restaurant.” — Marco Locatelli

“Different styles of pizzas, all of which are excellent. Renato Bosco is one of the greatest bread-making experts in Italy and he transforms anything to do with water and flour into excellence. It may seem simple, but in reality it is hard to never get it wrong. Renato Bosco never gets it wrong.” — Matteo Aloe


10 of 18

La Gatta Mangiona (Rome)

La Gatta Mangiona, Rome
Courtesy of La Gatta Mangiona

Eat: Aromatica (Asiago cheese, asparagus, speck, and pink peppercorns) or other seasonal pizza.

“The mother of all the 'foodie' pizzerias in Rome, with a well-risen dough, a Neapolitan look, and a more Roman texture. Simple and carefully selected seasonal toppings make this pizzeria a secure haven.” — Andrea Sponzilli


11 of 18

Sforno (Rome)

Sforno, Rome
© Andrea Wyner

Eat: Cacio e Pepe (Pecorino Romano cheese and ground black pepper); the Greenwich (Stilton and port reduction).

"Dough made with selected flours, extremely long rise, beautiful contrast between crispiness and fluffiness, high-quality ingredients.” — Giuseppe Carrus

“Fantastic ingredients and creativity built on a solid Neapolitan pizza structure. Try the Cacio e Pepe pizza, an homage to the great Roman pasta dish.” — Dino Joannides

12 of 18

Starita (Naples)

Starita, Naples
Courtesy of Starita

Eat: Montanara Provola (smoked cow’s milk cheese from Campania and tomato baked on a deep-fried base).

“Unbelievable Neapolitan pizza from the city where it all began. The Don Antonio by Starita outpost in NYC is also awesome but not quite like this. Long wait time is well worth it. Super fresh ingredients used, and if you opt for the lightly fried dough, it's an even more special treat.” — Emily Grove


13 of 18

Da Attilio (Naples)

Da Attilio, Naples
© Luciano Furia / www.lucianofuria.com

Eat: Carnevale (star-shaped pizza with tomato, mozzarella, sausage, grated cheese, and a ricotta-stuffed crust).

“To me, eating a pizza here is like going back in time. So definitely the century-old tradition.” — Enzo Coccia


14 of 18

Gusto Divino (Saluzzo, Piemonte)

Gusto Divino, Saluzzo (Piedmont)
Courtesy of Gusto Divino

Eat: Burrata and Ibérico Ham Pizza; shown, Croccante Caprino.

“Unlike others, Massimiliano Prete works on differentiating doughs and not just the toppings. He is without a doubt the greatest. Humble and brilliant at the same time!” — Alessandra Tinozzi

“Massimiliano Prete is, without doubt, the great surprise in the province of Cuneo, where traditional osterias usually win hands down over good pizzerias. Massimiliano's fortes are the tasting itinerary and various pizza styles that he proposes. The ingredients are predominantly local, or in any case, they are high quality. They range from Castelmagno cheese to burrata from Gioia Colle in Puglia.” — Enrico Bonardo


15 of 18

'O Fiore Mio (Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna)

‘O Fiore Mio, Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna)
Courtesy of O Fiore Mio

Eat: Romana (San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovies, and oregano).

“The quality of the ingredients, the extraordinarily good bases, and a really special setting are just some of the reasons I’d travel to eat at ‘O Fiore Mio. It is, without a doubt, the best pizza I’ve ever tasted.” — Sasha Correa


16 of 18

Piccola Piedigrotta (Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna)

Piccola Piedigrotta; Reggio Emilia; Emilia-Romagna 42121
Courtesy of Piccola Piedigrotta

Eat: 1940 (white pizza with buffalo mozzarella, escarole, anchovies, capers, pine nuts, raisins, and Calabrian olives); Carbonara Parisi (caciocavallo, guanciale, Parisi egg, Conciato Romano cheese).

“A very passionate chef who brings the north and south very well together on some of his pizzas. Giovanni Mandara stays true to the Napoli-style base but plays with the ingredients from the north and the food valley for many of his toppings, including even a pizza with mortadella. — Adele Stiehler


17 of 18

Santarpia (Florence)

Santarpia, Florence
Courtesy of Santarpia

Eat: Zucca e Guanciale (pumpkin puree, bacon, smoked provola from Casolare, Parmesan); Calzone.

"At his pizzeria in the center of Florence, Giovanni Santarpia, a pizzaiolo from a small town near Naples, is maniacal in the control of the leavening process. The result is pizza at the highest level of lightness and digestibility, with the finest ingredients for the toppings.” — Sabino Berardino


18 of 18

Pizzeria Da Ezio (Alano di Piave, Veneto)

Pizzeria Da Ezio, Alano di Piave (Veneto)

Eat: La Parmigiana dei Re (San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, grape tomato confit, grilled eggplant, Grana Padano chips).

"With an incredible passion for the gourmet cuisine and the best raw materials, Denis Lovatel has perfected a dough which differs from any other for his 'tonda crunch.' Very light, crunchy, and easy to digest, such as the Flower Power, a seasonal special with fior di latte (cow’s milk mozzarella), crispy escarole, Colatura de Alici (anchovy sauce), and edible flowers.” — Marco Colognese


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